Danielle De Francesco has taken out her maiden National Road Series tour at the weekends Tour of the Tropics.
Returning from Europe just a few days prior Dani grabbed hold of the leader’s jersey after completing a perfect double stage victory on Saturday in Stage 2’s road race and Stage 3’s individual time trial.
The final stage criterium around Cairns Esplanade saw Dani finish second behind Sydney Uni-Staminade's Gina Ricardo to stretch her tour-winning margin to 29 seconds ahead of Knights of Suburbia Racing Keely Bennett.
“I’m over the moon to grab my first NRS tour win,” Dani said.
“I didn't really know what to expect after getting off the plane from Europe a few days before racing, but I was really happy with how my body pulled up after Stage 1 and a good night of sleep.
“After racing in Belgium for one and a half months with ARA I've definitely improved as a rider I believe – both physically and mentally.
“Coming from UCI races of 160 girls, technical cobbled courses and a very high level of competition, I was a lot more relaxed in the bunch at Tropics.
“After getting over the jet lag, I also felt I’d brought over some fitness from all the Belgian racing and although we had reduced numbers at this tour, we've definitely brought home more skills and confidence as a team that we were able to utilise over the weekend.”
The tour covered up to 400km and 6000m vertical meters of climbing showcasing the Tropical Far North!
For the Elite men Kane Richards took out 3rd place in the one day classic on Day 1 - an early attack put Kane in the breakaway but with a lap and a half to go Joseph Cooper of Giant Racing went solo and the chasers could not bring him back.
Cameron Scott sprinted home in a tight finish to secure 2nd place in Stage 3 and 3rd in Criterium for Stage 4.
Our U19 riders didn’t disappoint with some great results across both the men and women.
Will Eaves claimed GC after taking the win in Stage 1’s road race and again at Stage 3’s individual Time Trial.
Lachlan Millar sprinted to claim victory at the Stage 4 Criterium.
For the ladies Issy Carnes also claimed a Stage 2 win and third in both Stage 1 and Stage 3.
Congratulations ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast on a successful Tour.